Pistorius murder trial to begin

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People stand around a newspaper poster reading ‘I want to look into Oscar’s eyes” before Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day in 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

People stand around a newspaper poster reading ‘I want to look into Oscar’s eyes” before Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day in 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

People stand around a newspaper poster reading “Oscar’s date with destiny” before Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day in 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

People walk outside the court building where Oscar Pistorius will arrive later for his trial in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day in 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

People stand around a newspaper reading “Oscar’s date with destiny” before Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day in 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

FILE – In this Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 file photo, double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius appears at the magistrates court to be indicted on charges of murder and illegal possession of ammunition for the shooting death of his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day in Pretoria, South Africa. A South Africa judge ruled Tuesday that television stations can broadcast parts of Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial live, but with restrictions on witness testimonies. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

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PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A drone carrying a camera flew overhead the Pretoria courthouse to capture the opening of the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius Monday, as the mother of the woman he shot to death says she wants to look him in the eyes when he comes into the courtroom.

June Steenkamp, the mother of model Reeva Steenkamp who was killed by Pistorius, was quoted in the Pretoria News, publishing an interview she gave to a British newspaper, saying that she will attend the trial to see Pistorius.

“I want to look at Oscar, really look him in the eyes, and see for myself the truth about what he did to Reeva,” said June Steenkamp, 67. “Whatever the court decides at the end of his trial, I will be ready to forgive him … But first I want to force him to look at me, Reeva’s mother, and see the pain and anguish he has inflicted on me. I feel I need that.”

Steenkamp will be seated near Pistorius’ family, according to local media, so there is a possibility that their eyes will meet.

Under grey, drizzly skies, journalists, lawyers and security officials arrived at the Pretoria courthouse in preparation for the trial. Several broadcasters massed live broadcast satellite trucks around the courthouse.

The intense public interest in the Pistorius trial is shown by the launching Sunday night of a 24-hour cable channel devoted to covering the court case.

The start of the trial marks the start of a dramatic new chapter in the life of the double-amputee athlete who ran at the Olympics and became a global star before he shot his girlfriend to death.

Prosecutors charged the 27-year-old Pistorius with murder in Steenkamp’s death and say it was with premeditation. They say they will seek a life sentence if Pistorius is convicted, the sternest punishment available in South Africa. South Africa no longer has the death penalty.

If convicted on the murder charge, Pistorius could be sent to prison for at least 25 years before the chance of parole, the minimum time someone must serve if given a life sentence in South Africa. He would be older than 50 before he could be released.

The state says Pistorius intentionally killed Steenkamp at his home in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day last year by shooting her through a toilet door after an argument. Pistorius denies murder and says he killed his girlfriend by mistake when he fired four times through the door thinking there was a dangerous nighttime intruder on the other side.

A lesser sentence is possible if Pistorius is found guilty of murder but without premeditation. He also could be convicted of culpable homicide, South Africa’s version of manslaughter in which someone is killed through negligence.

Pistorius claims he was acting in self-defense against what he believed at the time was a threat to his life.

As well as murder, Pistorius faces a second charge of illegal possession of ammunition for bullets found at his Pretoria house that he allegedly didn’t have proper licensing for. Prosecutors say he also will be indicted Monday with two more gun charges relating to him allegedly shooting in public on two separate occasions before Steenkamp’s killing.

The serving of an updated indictment to Pistorius in court is expected to be the first move at the trial at Pretoria’s high court. He has not yet been formally served with the papers that include all four charges against him, although his lawyers have had the papers and details of the additional gun charges since last year, prosecutors say. The gun charges reportedly relate to him allegedly shooting out the sunroof of a car in one incident and another when he allegedly fired a gun inside a restaurant, apparently by mistake.

Those incidents happened in the court jurisdiction of the city of Johannesburg, not where Steenkamp was killed in Pretoria, and prosecutors applied to have the two charges included and

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